A new generation of phosphodiesterase inhibitors: multiple molecular forms of phosphodiesterase and the potential for drug selectivity.

Article Details


Weishaar RE, Cain MH, Bristol JA

A new generation of phosphodiesterase inhibitors: multiple molecular forms of phosphodiesterase and the potential for drug selectivity.

J Med Chem. 1985 May;28(5):537-45.

PubMed ID
2985781 [ View in PubMed

With several notable exceptions, interest in the area of multiple molecular forms of phosphodiesterase remained relatively dormant during the decade following Thompson's discovery of more than one phosphodiesterase in brain in 1971. Within the last several years, however, over 20 novel agents have been identified that exert selective inhibitory effects on the various molecular forms of phosphodiesterase present within different cells. In addition, several studies have documented that such agents can produce discrete changes in cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP, an action that is not shared by "first generation" phosphodiesterase inhibitors such as theophylline. The purpose of this Perspective is to provide some clarity to this rapidly evolving area of selective phosphodiesterase inhibitors. Thus, we have attempted to characterize the different forms of phosphodiesterase present in various tissues and cells according to their kinetic properties, substrate specificity, etc. and also to characterize those major classes of agents that have been shown to inhibit phosphodiesterase activity, whether selectively or nonselectively. In addition, we have described several therapeutic areas wherein selective phosphodiesterase inhibitors might prove efficacious, paying particular attention to those areas in which selective phosphodiesterase inhibitors have already been shown to exert beneficial effects, namely, stimulation of myocardial contractility, inhibition of mediator release, and inhibition of platelet aggregation. Although focusing on these three areas, it is obvious that the potential therapeutic utility of selective phosphodiesterase inhibitors could conceivably extend to several other areas in which modulation of cyclic nucleotides can have desirable effects, including cancer chemotherapy, analgesia, the treatment of depression, Parkinson's disease, and learning and memory disorders. For example, the selective type III phosphodiesterase inhibitor rolipram has been shown to antagonize reserpine-induced hypothermia and also to potentiate yohimbine lethality, two tests that are indicative of antidepressant activity. In addition, microinjection of the selective PDE III inhibitor Ro 20-1724 into the rat brain stem has been shown to produce analgesia.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

DrugBank Data that Cites this Article

Binding Properties
DrugTargetPropertyMeasurementpHTemperature (°C)
3-isobutyl-1-methyl-7H-xanthinecGMP-dependent 3',5'-cyclic phosphodiesteraseIC 50 (nM)12000N/AN/ADetails